Scottish Environment Minister Ross Finnie has announced a decision which will stop current plans to move low level radioactive waste from Dounreay to Cumbria. Ministers have directed the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to refuse an application for authorisation to dispose of solid waste to the National Low Level Waste Facility at Drigg.

The application was made by Dounreay's operators United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). The decision will mean that the waste will continue to be stored on site.

Mr Finnie said, "This decision reflects a widespread view that the best practicable environmental option for this low level waste is that it should be dealt with at Dounreay, where it is produced.

"We are currently reviewing low level waste policy and Dounreay's own low level waste strategy document sets out the intention to develop a low level waste facility on site.

"Ministers support this aim and believe that it is essential that all involved now proceed to develop this proposal.

"It is important to recognise that low level waste has been stored at Dounreay in compliance with safety and environmental requirements. Arrangements will need to be made to ensure that this can continue and that Dounreay's strategy is implemented. We will be keeping these matters under review."